I'm still working on my Pizza Quest Signature Pizza series. I set out to make a few versions to try with a glass or two of my Birra Basta. I can't just let the keg sit there, right? It was all created to be used; The Bruery didn't brew this beer to pour it down the drain. The makers of my "new" kegerator surely wanted beer to flow through it. I know I'm onto something here.
As so many artisans explain, quality food starts by using the freshest ingredients you can get. As I got into home cooking, I watched a lot of Molto Mario. One of the things I picked up early from watching was that you use what is fresh. If you set out to make a recipe that calls for Bluefish and all you can find at the market that's fresh is the Sea Bass - you substitute! Go fresh. Buy local quality food as close to it's original environment as you can. This isn't exactly the right example here, but I bring it up because when I shop for pizza ingredients, I have a general list and look for those ingredients, but keep an eye out for something that says, "Here I am! I am fresh! I am bold! I am your future!" I haven't found that thing yet, but I often find some other interesting ingredients to work with.
I was browsing the meat department looking for another option to this Signature Pizza. I had some things in mind, but was definitely browsing. "Hello there" it said. I introduced myself. We got along immediately. I don't know how we had never met before. "I'm always in your neighborhood!?" I said. By now the butcher was about to call security on me. He wasn't used to customers talking to his bacon display. But, this wasn't just bacon. It was a proudly sliced pile of Jalapeño Cured Bacon.
Ok, now back to reality. How do you not try that?! I knew I was looking for some spiciness and salted pork. I didn't know it would be brought together in this way, but there she was. Beautiful in all her glory. Sorry, I slipped away again.
The pizza is pretty much the same as the previous few. It turned out delicious which was to be expected. If you can't find a Jalapeno Cured Bacon, I imagine using a quality bacon and adding some thinly sliced, or chopped jalapenos would work as well.
Brad's Home Made Pizza Quest Challenge Pizza - The Jalapeño Cured Bacon Variety:
Pizza Quest Signature Beer Pizza Dough (see Instructional archives)
*Any dough will work, but I have to say it's worth it to make this dough
*I couldn't find any, so I substituted a baby Belgian white endive
*Kelly Whitaker made his own in a pressure cooker. Lacking the time and skills, I found a baking product called Lemon Curd to use instead. It gave a nice tart lemon flavor in bursts as well as a sweet finish.
Old Glory herself - House Cured Jalapeño Bacon (We met at Whole Foods, if you're interested)
*I had some wild arugula around. This worked great.
*I didn't have that, so I diced up a little fennel greens and sprinkled some sea salt to finish the pizza.
Spread the dough to your desired size.
Add the Burrata Cheese to the center of the dough, factoring in how it will melt and cover.
Lay out the endive leaves
Add the lemon curd, or preserved lemon in little dabs around the pizza. This is meant to be a surprise, not an all over flavor. It's not a flavor you would think of for pizza, but as you'll see in some of these recipes I've become a big fan. That may have to do with the fact that I have a Birra Basta sitting next to me that Patrick infused with Lemon Peel during the brewing. Maybe...
Add the cooked Jalapeño Bacon (or bacon with sliced chilis)
Into the oven it goes…
While the pizza cooks, toss some greens with a little herb oil or a favorite dressing. Or, you could just put the greens on as is.
Take the pizza out after 8-10 minutes.
Lay Salad mixture over the hot pizza.
Sprinkle the Fennel and a little Sea Salt across the pizza (sparingly).
Cut and Serve…
Oh, and pour your next glass of bier!